The European Commission-funded eAccess+ network is a network of organisations who will focus on supporting and promoting awareness and adoption of e-accessibility in industry and the public sector, and also amongst service providers to excluded groups. We’ve just had our kick-off meeting – so here’s some information about what we’re going to do over the next 3 years.
Education, Education, Education. Much of the buzz filtering back through Twitter from this year’s South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) surrounded the launch of the Web Standards Project’s InterAct Curriculum. It builds on the efforts of Chris Mills and colleagues at Opera in developing their Web Standards Curriculum, and, while it’s still work in progress it looks – from a first glance – like it will grow to be an excellent set of resources to promote the teaching of best practice in web design.
These initiatives are all evidence of a brighter horizon, the product of efforts by web standards advocates to improve the quality of web design education, and thus the skillset of people entering the web design industry. This follows criticism of the standard of web design education, particularly at university level.
There have been reports in the UK press of plans to reduce the speed limit of traffic on rural roads from 60 to 50 miles per hour (96 to 80km/h). The main argument, of course, is to improve road safety, but there is also an argument that speed limits on their own do not necessarily lead to safer drivers:
- a speed limit may imply that driving at, or just below, that limit automatically means ‘safe’.
- a safe driving speed depends on context – weather, time, road condition, surrounding environment, visibility, to name but a few factors.
I read a blog post by web standards advocate Drew McLellan yesterday, the opening sentence of which alarmed me greatly:
As a web developer, there’s little I dislike more than building sites to be accessible.
That’s some confession. Now, cards on the table – I don’t know Drew, though I do appreciate his efforts in promoting web standards adoption. And I’m not here to suggest he is arguing against accessible design – on the contrary, from his blog it’s something that he feels obliged to do, so he does it:
So as much as I find it an unpleasant chore, I’m firmly committed to building sites that can be accessible as I can make them.